Review Summary: An impressive work of progressive metal/rock focusing on themes of human degradation and vanities.
“We are the end of ourselves, we ignore the evidence that nothing will preserve the Earth from the collapse when you will become exactly as the ash you trample”
Now those above mentioned lyrics are interesting and thought provoking but is the music good? Yes!...Why? Well, Sunpocrisy utilize tried and proven effective musical techniques in the vein of Tool, Meshuggah, The Ocean, and Cult of Luna. Think of the creative drumming, soft falsetto vocals, and building reverb/delayed guitars of Tool; The odd timed rhythms, [which are used sparingly] death style vocals[similar but less aggressive], and the compelling energy of Meshuggah; and the post/rock serenities of Cult of Luna.
These characteristics sum up Sunpocrisy’s sound but it’s important to realize that they add a bit of originality with their progressive tendencies that occasionally push the boundaries of these counterparts; most notably on “? – Phi” where drummer Carlo Giulini can be heard work his high hat in highly creative levels fused with catchy fills and cymbal clashes that really lay nice atmosphere over the guitars. During the mid-section of this same track, bassist Gabriele Zampieri throws some nice obscure bass licks over a softened atmosphere which sounds perfect as well as different than anything Tool has ever done. In fact, this whole track is a major standout on “Samaroid Dioramas” which perfectly utilizes the power of dynamics that build and drop in both forced-unexpected moments as well as unforced situations. Almost every track here within uses the power of dynamics with great builds and drops where heavier moments are synced with death style vocals and the softer passages fancy the aforementioned falsetto vocal techniques, high reminiscent of Maynard James Keenan’s approach.
The albums length and arrangement is appropriate. In chronological order, the opening starts with ambient fuzz followed by two epic tracks, then a soft/short post-“rockesq “interlude into the second half which starts with another ambient fortified prelude followed by the three track second half which subsequently grows in greater lengths after each successive track. Totaling with a run time of about 50 minutes, “Samaroid Dioramas” uses every moment to impress the impact of its desire upon its listeners with well thought out, purposeful arrangements with complementing lyrics. During heavy moments you may hear lyrics such as “separate the earth’s crust from the element that burns inward”, and softer moments may utter “facing gloom done by shadows while your seeds are floating into another world. Regardless of the lyrical section the music almost always complements the noted moods. While the second if extremely solid as well as the first half, neither section chooses to rise extremely above the other; rather, each section plays off a fairly even plain.While Sunpocrisy's obvious influences are manifest, it's important to note that they fancy the more serene side of music rather than the boistrous and clamorous styles, even during heavier moments of distortion and multi layered reverb effects; mainly in the vain of Isis.
Sunpocrisy have done a fine job in introducing their first LP to the world of music listeners with excellent musicianship, a thought provoking lyrical album, and an impressing release that truly holds its weight against its contemporaries as well as being a solid addition to the best releases of 2012 so far. If you're a fan of the above mentioned bands and/or progressive metal in general, with good songwriting, than this is the album you’ve been looking for.